Cromwell aiming for elusive Grade 1 chase in Drinmore

It may seem a surprising fact, but despite trainer Gavin Cromwell’s victories at the Cheltenham Festival in the Champions Hurdle and Stayers’ Hurdle, he remains without a Grade 1 chase victory on his CV.

Trainer : GAVIN CROMWELL. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

This could all change on Sunday in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse, where Cromwell fields Letsbeclearaboutit. The exciting novice is two-from-two over fences and made the easy transition to Graded level over fences with a ten length win in Cork's Grade 3 Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Irish EBF Novice Chase. 

"He was a good bumper horse and a good hurdler and since he's gone chasing, he's taken his form to a new level, so hopefully we can maintain the upwards curve," said Gavin Cromwell.

"He looks like a chaser and he's scopey and he enjoys jumping fences. When they enjoy it, that can bring about some huge improvement.

"He's right up there [with the best] and we will no more on Sunday, but he's clearly been a good horse since the get-go and hopefully will run a big race on Sunday."

Cromwell will be double-handed in the contest, with Perceval Legallois also representing the yard. Owned by JP McManus, the six-year-old won on chase debut at Galway and was firmly in contention when falling three out in the Cork Grade 3. 

"He was running a great race and for a horse that fell in a race, he jumps well," added Cromwell.

"They had just increased the pace in the race and it was just a novicey fall, but touch wood, he came home fine and was running a lovely race, so we'll see how he goes on Sunday."

Gordon Elliott has won the race seven times and will be represented in this year's renewal by Found A Fifty. The six-year-old was an impressive Fairyhouse maiden hurdle winner at the start of the year before struggling in Grade 1 company. He appeared to have improved for the switch to fences when winning his chasing debut at Down Royal.

In an interview with Racing TV, Elliott said: "Found A Fifty is a good horse.

"I probably made a mistake last year by going to the well a couple of times too much with him – I put myself under pressure and made the wrong decisions.

"He was very good the last day over fences and we're very happy with him, chasing is his game and he's a lot more settled this year.

"Last year, he got very revved up and I should never have gone to Aintree with him, that was my fault."

The two runners from Willie Mullins' yard, Sharjah and I Am Maximus, will complete the line up. Sharjah, a multiple Grade 1 winning hurdler, is two-from-two over fences whilst Irish Grand National hero I Am Maximus is an intriguing entry, still eligible as a novice. 

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